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Old 12-31-2012, 09:52 PM   #1
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Arizona Destinations

So we're thinking of traveling from the San Francisco peninsula to someplace warm--and more importantly dry--in southern Arizona.

Any suggestions for camping spots? Access to running water and a dump station somewhere nearby would be nice. Quiet waters where we could kayak would be a plus.

Thanks for the help'

Paul
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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Take a look at Buckskin Mountain State Park, just North of Parker, AZ. It's a nice park and on the Colorado River.

If that's a little too expensive for you, there's a county park about a mile South of there that's less expensive.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:46 AM   #3
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Lake Pleasant Regional Park -- Besides camping, boating and fishing, it's only about 10-15 miles to Phoenix. This location is far enough south to avoid extreme winter weather (ice, snow, etc.), and the desert climate makes it a prime destination for "snow birds".

Parks & Recreation - Maricopa County

Note: There are several other state and regional parks on the outskirts of Phoenix, but Lake Pleasant is the best for water sports.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:15 AM   #4
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I would keep in mind that Arizona this time of year is actually not that much warmer than the bay area. It is, however a definite change in scenery.

If you haven't been to the area, I would look into Sedona (Rancho Sedona is an RV park right in the middle of town which is clean and nice). There won't be much kayaking though. Fool Hollow campground in Show Low fits your requirements and is nice as well.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:09 AM   #5
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We went through Southern AZ the week before Christmas and it was actually quite cold. Not what I expected.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:37 AM   #6
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For kayaking, Saguaro Lake is nice as are parts of Roosevelt Lake.
We like Lake Pleasant as Phoenix mentioned, but it seems less picturesque than Saguaro.
Remember, this is the desert, so we do have cold nights and occasional periods of cool days, as mstephens has noted.
Today the High in Albuquerque will be 34 degrees F. But in Mesa, where our Airstream is parked, it will be 55 degrees; probably not warm enough for a swim, but still warm enough for a nice hike in shirt sleeves. We will return to our Airstream just as soon as we can, now that the Holidays are past.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:50 AM   #7
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We were in the Bay Area between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, while the temperatures were similar to Phoenix, it was cloudy and rainy a lot of the time we were in California.

It did seemed more like the holidays with most days overcast and rainy, and we didn't have to shovel any snow. However, we were there long enough that I missed the Arizona sun!
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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Lakes of the Salt River Project

Here are some pictures of Saguaro Lake and Canyon Lake and our winter "campsite.":
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:00 PM   #9
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Just finished digging the AS out of a foot of snow. Hitched up and ready to hit the road tomorrow morning. (Originally planned to have the AS south of the snow belt before Thanksgiving, but things got in the way). Leaving central Massachusetts with forecast of clear, cold and dry for the next week. That should easily allow us to get the Mary Joan to Louisville or Nashville where we will leave her until early February when we plan to work our way to Arizona. Don't have a firm itinerary yet, but plan to hop across to Memphis, Dallas, Abilene, Alamogordo and Las Cruces and finally Tuscon. Any tips for places to boondock or favorite state parks, national forests etc would be appreciated. We generally like to avoid RV parks unless we have laundry to do.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:42 PM   #10
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Some of My Favorite Stops Along Your Route

In NM Near Alamogordo: Oliver Lee SP
In NM West of Cruces: Pancho Villa SP, Rockhound SP, and City of Rocks SP
In AZ East of Tucson: Kartchner Caverns SP
In AZ SW of Tucson: Gilbert Ray Municipal Park
Pictures in that order:
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #11
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Campgrounds:

* http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ml#post1041316

Sights to see:

* http://www.airforums.com/forums/f462...ml#post1186552

* http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ml#post1171654
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:41 PM   #12
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Thanks for the suggestions

Thank you for the quick replies. This forum is a wonderful asset for us AS owners.

Pushed the foot of snow from the roof, hitched up and ready to go. Tested traction and will need the 4WD in low. The tractor is standing by.

Wayne
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:06 PM   #13
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Thank You All

Thank you everyone who replied, I checked out a couple locations and they look interesting. Buckskin, which has online reservations, actually has openings in early Feb. I'll call the park next day or so to get an idea of the flow rate of the river; is it slow enough for cruising in kayaks. I also like the idea that it's not quite 600 miles from our home in San Jose.

We visited Sedona on our way to Grand Canyon last October; it was beautiful, but I suspect due to its altitude, that it may be a bit colder than what we are seeking.

Actually, we don't mind the chilly weather, it's more a desire on my part to just go somewhere different. And yes, this has been an unusually wet start to our rainy season this year. We're 150% of normal YTD. Lots of snow pack in the Sierras means we'll have plenty of water this summer to keep our lawns green ... All that means that if we stay in the area around here, we'll likely go somewhere along the coast and the chance of heavy rain and road closures is pretty great.

The warmer California desert areas south of here are impacted by all the RVers from LA; they all seem to be pretty jammed.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #14
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Big q

DONT forget the BIG Q.Quartzsite AZ.Lots going on there in Jan and Feb and it is free to cheap.
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